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Bam Hardmon
Position: Defensive line
Alma Mater: Florida
Graduating Year: 2003

Hardmon, a standout at Florida during his playing days, was able to impart his knowledge to his 2013 charges as defensive tackle QuayShawne Buckley finished the season in a tie for 25th in tackles for loss per game. Buckley was Idaho’s tackles for loss leader with 16 (-62 yards) and ranked ninth on the Vandals’ total tackles list. Maxx Forde, fourth on the total tackles list, was second to Buckley in tackles for loss and sacks during Hardmon’s first season with the Vandals.

Hardmon cameto Idaho after one season at Charleston Southern University but his association with Vandals’ head coach Paul Petrino began when both were at Illinois.

“Bam is a great young coach,” Petrino said. “He’s fiery, he’s excited and he relates well to the players.”

Not only do his on-field credentials meet Petrino’s criteria, his recruiting ability and knowledge of the southeastern United States make him the complete package.

“He has great connections in Florida, the southeast,” Petrino said. “I’m real excited to have him on my staff.”

Hardmon was an all-Southeastern Conference selection at Florida and was the Gators’ defensive team captain as a senior. He had 169 tackles – fourth in the NCAA and second in the SEC, during his senior season in addition to one interception and two forced fumbles. He played on teams that finished third, 11th and 24th and was the recipient of the Fergie Ferguson Award as the Florida player who “displays outstanding leadership, character and courage” in addition to earning the University of Florida’s Outstanding Leadership Award in 2002. A three-year scholar-athlete, he was on four bowl teams with the Gators – 2000 Citrus, 2001 Orange, 2002 Sugar and 2003 Outback.

From 2003-07 Hardmon split time between the NFL and NFL Europe and after signing with Miami in 2003. He was the cap­tain of the Hamberg Seadevils of NFL Europe from 2006-07, while finishing second on the team in tackles and helping the Seadevils to the 2007 World Bowl title. Prior to his time in Hamburg, Hardmon played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2005), Seattle Seahawks (2004) and Miami Dolphins (2003). He also spent time with the Cologne Centurions (2003) of NFL Europe.

After his playing career ended, he joined the University of Illinois staff where he was a defensive assistant with time spent coaching the defensive line and linebackers. While with the Illini, Hard­mon assisted in defensive game planning and scouting and coordinated the offensive scout team. Under his tutelage, defensive tackle Corey Liuget was a first-round pick of the San Diego Chargers and was joined in the profes­sional ranks by defensive end Whitney Mercilus who was selected by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Hardmon helped turn the Illini defense from No. 91 to No. 8 in total defense during his tenure and helped the pass defense finish the 2011 season ranked fourth in the nation.

He spent the 2012 season as special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Charleston Southern where he was part of a staff that made the Bucs one of the most improved programs in the FCS. CSU went 5-6 after an 0-11 campaign in 2011, and won 5-of-7 games in 2012 after an 0-3 start. The Bucs defensive line was a big reason for the transformation as CSU. CSU held oppo­nents to less than 100 yards rushing three times in 2012, including twice in Big South wins.

Hardmon earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociol­ogy from Florida in 2003 and went on to earn a Master’s of Educational Policy and Organiza­tional Leadership from the University of Illinois in 2011. He is married to the former Danerica Wright. They have one son, Bryson.

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